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Demographics of Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso's 10 million people belong to two major West African cultural groups--the Voltaic and the Mande. The Voltaic are far more numerous and include the Mossi, which make up about one-half of the population. The Mossi claim descent from warriors who migrated to present-day Burkina Faso and established an empire that lasted more than 800 years. Predominantly farmers, the Mossi are still bound by the traditions of the Mogho Naba, who hold court in Ouagadougou.

About 5,000 Europeans reside in Burkina Faso.

Most of Burkina's people are concentrated in the south and center of the country, sometimes exceeding 48 per square kilometer (125/sq. mi.). This population density, high for Africa, causes annual migrations of hundreds of thousands of Burkinabe to Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana for seasonal agricultural work. A plurality of Burkinabe adhere to traditional African religions. The introduction of Islam to Burkina Faso was initially resisted by the Mossi rulers. Christians, predominantly Catholics, are largely concentrated among the urban elite.

Few Burkinabe have had formal education. Schooling is free but not compulsory, and only about 29% of Burkina's primary school-age children receive a basic education. The University of Ouagadougou, founded in 1974, was the country's first institution of higher education. The Polytechnical University in Bobo-Dioulasso was opened in 1995.

Population: 11,946,065
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 48% (male 2,866,361; female 2,822,990)
15-64 years: 49% (male 2,808,797; female 3,097,048)
65 years and over: 3% (male 149,474; female 201,395) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.71% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 45.26 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 17.04 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 108.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 46.73 years
male: 46.29 years
female: 47.18 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.44 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe

Ethnic groups: Mossi over 40%, Gurunsi, Senufo, Lobi, Bobo, Mande, Fulani

Religions: indigenous beliefs 40%, Muslim 50%, Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) 10%

Languages: French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 19.2%
male: 29.5%
female: 9.2% (1995 est.)

See also : Burkina Faso



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